Secondary Education for Girls' Advancement (SEGA)

Secondary Education for Girls'Advancement (SEGA) seeks to provide quality education for bright, motivated Tanzanian girls, who otherwise would not have access to secondary education due to extreme poverty, giving them, their families and their communities a pathway out of poverty. SEGA's mission is to promote improved access to high-quality secondary education for marginalized and vulnerable Tanzanian girls. SEGA is responding to the inequitable access to and poor quality of education opportunities for Tanzanian children, especially for poor girls. Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world with 36% of people living below the basic needs poverty line and 19% below the food pov...

Secondary Education for Girls' Advancement (SEGA)
PO Box 144
Valley Forge, PA 19481
United States
7816869247
http://www.nurturingmindsinafrica.org

Executive Director

Heidi Leone

Board of Directors

Maggie Bangser, Onesmo Haluyi, Astridah Katalyeba, Oscar Mlowe, Demetrius Malopola, Blastus Mwizarubi, Helen Nkalang'ango, Polly Dolan

Project Leaders

Marion Ballard
Julie Bourgoin
Laura DeDominicis

Mission

Secondary Education for Girls'Advancement (SEGA) seeks to provide quality education for bright, motivated Tanzanian girls, who otherwise would not have access to secondary education due to extreme poverty, giving them, their families and their communities a pathway out of poverty. SEGA's mission is to promote improved access to high-quality secondary education for marginalized and vulnerable Tanzanian girls. SEGA is responding to the inequitable access to and poor quality of education opportunities for Tanzanian children, especially for poor girls. Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world with 36% of people living below the basic needs poverty line and 19% below the food poverty line. There are over five-million children out of school, the majority of whom are engaged in child labor. While universal free primary education was introduced in 2002, dramatically increasing enrolment, secondary education remains inaccessible for most. Tanzania has one of the lowest secondary enrolment ratios in Sub-Saharan Africa and the world (below 20% as of 2007) with even lower retention and completion rates for girls. Over the period of 2005-2009, while 75% of girls attended primary school, only 8% of girls attended secondary school. While the Government of Tanzania has put great emphasis on rapidly expanding both primary and secondary school infrastructure over the past several years, secondary education remains expensive for the poor. Even in public schools, which have lower fee structures than private schools, SEGA has found that many students drop out due to unforeseen costs such as having to come to school with their own furniture, pay a "construction fee", or pay exam fees. Others get thrown out of school for having no uniform or shoes. Further contributing to poor retention of students is that the quality of most government and community schools is very poor, with pupil: teacher ratio averaging at 53:1, and as high as over 100:1 in many schools. Schools lack trained teachers (30% do not have relevant qualifications), basic resources such as books (ratio of 20 pupils to each book in many schools) and furniture, and suffer from poor infrastructure. In one CARE study in the western part of the country, more than 90% of girls complained about a lack of toilet facilities, a major factor in girls missing or dropping out of school once they reach puberty. Additionally, due to school overcrowding and inadequate training, most teachers teach by "chalk and talk"-having students copy from the blackboard, and memorize terms of which they have no understanding. Even in the better schools, teaching methods are top-down, and focus on rote learning rather than fostering independent thinking and problem-solving skills among students. The poor quality of education is reflected by the fact that, in 2010, 35% of students nationally failed the Form II exam, and 85% of students nationally failed the Form IV leaving exam (the qualifying exam taken at the end of ordinary level secondary school). Due to social and cultural factors such as high burden of domestic tasks at home, girls perform on average almost 6% lower than boys on tests, and in some regions 20% lower; and drop out at higher rates than boys. Becoming domestic servants (often unpaid or underpaid), engaging in transactional sex, marrying early, and getting pregnant are common scenarios in these young teenagers' lives. Sadly, strategies to improve gender equity in education have focused on improving test results such as through lowering the pass rate for girls, rather than addressing these root causes of gender inequity in education. Quality education that provides a safe space for girls, relevant skills such as agriculture/gardening for food security, leadership development including HIV/AIDS and early pregnancy prevention, and entrepreneurial and business skills through methods that stimulate critical thinking and student participation is essential to help girls perform well, stay in school and overcome poverty. Furthermore, boarding facilities are essential to reduce risk to girls and provide them with ample and safe space to grow, develop and learn. In a critical document produced in 2006 by TENMET (a Tanzanian networking and advocacy body made up of all civil society organizations working in education in the country) as a contribution to the national education sector review, one of three recommendations at secondary level was: Special attention should be paid to provide boarding facilities for girls. SEGA's Objectives: (a) To provide high quality, academically challenging secondary education for Tanzanian girls through development of a boarding school. (b) To provide necessary financial, material and social support for orphaned and other vulnerable girls to attend and perform within in the school. (c) To foster development of healthy self-esteem, independent thinking, decision-making and life skills among students. (d) To adequately prepare students for academic success, through English language instruction, and remedial "catch-up" programs as necessary. (e) To enable students to explore and express their creativity through art, music, theater, drama and other venues. (f) To promote social and environmental consciousness and a spirit of volunteerism and social action among students through community projects. (g) To encourage parental and community support for and engagement in school affairs and education of students.

Programs

SEGA, working with its US partner and primary funder, Nurturing Minds, Inc, is constructing and developing the Sega Girls School in Morogoro, Tanzania, a secondary boarding school for vulnerable Tanzanian girls that fosters the development of strong values, healthy self-esteem, and independent thinking skills among its students. There are three main goals for the Sega Girls School during the five-year period 2010-2015: 1) To be a model for educating vulnerable girls As of December, 2011, the Sega Girls School is educating 85 Tanzanian girls who otherwise would not be able to attend secondary school due to extreme poverty. Of these, 58 are secondary boarding students enrolled in Forms I and II, and 27 are day students in its transitional remedial non-formal program. The non-formal program is a year-long remedial day program that prepares the students for education at the secondary school level. The students embark on an intensive program of English, since all subjects at the secondary level are taught in English, and are prepared for the national Standard VII exam that is a requirement for entry into secondary school in Tanzania. The secondary boarding school seeks to be a center of excellence for teaching, learning and leadership development for marginalized girls in both academic and life skills so that they will be able to provide for themselves and live fulfilling lives after school. Teachers at the school are trained in participatory and experiential methods of teaching, class sizes are limited to 30 students, and there are desks, books and school equipment for each girl, providing an excellent learning environment. The Tanzanian national curriculum is followed, but the students are also taught life skills, including business skills and entrepreneurship through internship opportunities to participate in operating school-run businesses. A leadership curriculum is being developed, with concepts and topics including providing supportive safe space for girls to learn, diverse and stimulating extracurricular activities, community outreach and social responsibility opportunities, and emphasis on HIV/AIDS and early pregnancy prevention. The Sega girls are taught the principles and techniques of bio-intensive gardentin, which they apply to their own on-campus gardens. The Sega students are achieving success, with over 90% passing the Standard VII national exam compared to 49% nationally. They are thriving at all levels of development, with growing confidence and increased leadership skills displayed in the classroom, during extracurricular activities, and in mentoring of fellow students. 2) To complete the infrastructure for a secondary boarding school for 200 girls Currently, the Sega Girls School campus has a large multipurpose building and a classroom/dormitory block that accommodates 58 boarding students, 27 day students, a matron and a headmistress. These buildings are solar-powered, have rainwater harvesting, well water powered by solar, and an extensive garden maintained by the staff and students. There are two adjacent dining Bandas, including a kitchen with a fuel-efficient cooking facility. Phase II construction is currently underway, thanks to successful fundraising activity by our U.S. partner, Nurturing Minds, Inc, and a significant grant from USAID. New dormitories and classrooms will be complete by January 2012, in time for our new Form I class to board at the school. Volunteer and staff housing will be complete by March 2012. Our aim is to complete the school campus by 2015, when the Sega Girls School will be educating 200 students annually. 3) To achieve 100% self-sufficiency through school-run businesses SEGA aims to achieve financial self-sufficiency for the Sega Girls School by implementing a successful model developed by NGOs Fundacion Paraguaya and Teach a Man to Fish. These NGOs have developed their model in Paraguay, helping schools to achieve financial self-sufficiency through setting up school-run, income-generating businesses, whilst integrating running the businesses into the curriculum so that the students learn business skills and entrepreneurship. Recipient of a Mastercard Foundation grant to introduce it's model to schools in East Africa, Fundacion Paraguaya has set up its headquarters in Morogoro, near the Sega School campus, and is providing financial and technical support to the Sega Girls School to implement businesses including a poultry farm, a pig farm and a tourist hotel. This partnership positions the Sega Girls School as a destination for cross visits by other schools throughout East Africa seeking to learn how to develop school-run businesses for sustainability and learning purposes. After in-depth research and marketing analysis on local business opportunities, poultry farming was identified as the strongest first business for the Sega Girls School to implement. Poultry businesses in Morogoro are comprised of mainly layers and broilers with the majority of vendors dealing in the 'under 500 birds' section of the market, and the majority of these at the subsistence livelihood section. There is a strong level of demand for eggs in Morogoro, and the Sega poultry farm plan is to come in at the right scale; ensure quality control, hygiene and disease management; and have sufficient level of capitalization. The poultry farming business is particularly relevant when considering the current food security situation in Tanzania, causing significant food cost spikes. This business will help maintain food security for the school and serve as a profitable income generating business within 3 years.

Statistics on Secondary Education for Girls' Advancement (SEGA)

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